Thursday, July 8, 2010

How to Write Your Own Wedding Vows

Make your wedding unique by writing your own wedding vows. For most people, the day they get married is one of the most important days of their lives. The day is carefully planned from dresses and tuxedos to flowers and decorations, but the actual wedding ceremony and the very heart of it, the exchange of vows, is overlooked.

The promises the bride and groom will make to each other, the exchange of vows is the wedding. Those words are what join the couple in marriage. You don’t want to end up exchanging vows that hold no personal meaning for you. Your relationship and your love are unique.

One of the first things you should do when writing your own wedding vows is to consult your officiant. You need to know exactly what the officiant plans to say and if they will work with you on customizing your ceremony. Some religions or religious ceremonies leave no room for uniqueness or customization.

Make sure you know ahead of time what will be said. You do not want to end up with vows that are not meaningful or, even worse, completely against your beliefs. I made sure to get a written copy of everything my officiant would be saying. I did not want any overly religious wording; my husband to be and I were trying to have a non-denominational wedding.

You can blend your own written vows with some of the traditional vows. This is a route many couples decide to take. Remember that you don’t have to use all the traditional vows; you can pick and choose which ones hold meaning for you.

To get your creative thoughts of love flowing, read love poetry, romance novels and classic stories of love. Check out the greeting card section at the store and go through all those sappy love cards or listen to love songs. Do anything to get in a romantic and loving frame of mind. Feel free to borrow meaningful phrases and incorporate them into your vows.

Another way to get in the mood for writing your own wedding vows is to travel down memory lane with your love. Pull out photos, discuss your first date and revisit the place you had your first date or where the proposal took place. Get all those wonderful feelings of love flowing to help you remember why you are getting married. Those wonderful memories can even be incorporated into your vows.

Make sure to keep your vows audience-friendly. Focus on universal topics they will understand. You want the vows to be personal, but not so personal that no one understands them. Avoid things that are too intimate, sexual or cute.

Avoid jokes only the two of you will get. Other things to avoid are topics like religion, politics and finances. Focus on the two of you and your love for each other.

Consider such questions as what does marriage mean to me?” Which promises are most important? What do we want and expect from each other? Contemplate what the words love, trust, honesty, compassion, friendship, forgiveness, faith, honor and respect mean to you. You can possibly include some of those thoughts and feelings into your wedding vows.

When writing your own wedding vows, keep them short and simple. The actual spoken vows should be under three minutes long. You can personalize the rest of your ceremony with chosen readings, songs, prayers or other special elements.

Practice reading your vows out loud. What looks good on paper may tie your tongue in knots, especially with wedding-day jitters and being in front of an audience. Try to keep your sentences short so they are easier to speak. Practice in front of a friend to get a feel for speaking the vows in front of other people.

If it feels too uncomfortable or too personal, maybe the words are too intimate. Don’t try to memorize your vows. Wedding-day nerves will probably wipe out your memory anyway. The best thing to do is make several copies and give them to the officiant, your maid of honor or best man and keep a copy or two for you.

Writing your own wedding vows will be a great way for you and your fiancé to express yourselves, make your wedding a truly personalized experience and make it memorable for everyone involved.

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